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Maguan Culture

In Maguan county mainly live the Zhuang,Yao and Yi ethnic groups.Since the ancient times, they have had numerous kinds of beliefs. They believe in the propagation, the totem, and their ancestors. Now, most of them are polytheists, believing the power of many inanimate things in nature, such as giant trees, high mountains, cavity, the earth, the sun, water and so on. Sacrifice activities are usually held because of their beliefs of being blessed by the divinity and to prevent all kinds of disasters.



Zhuang ethnic minority


Food and Food Culture:

Their primary products are tropical and subtropical crops such as rice and corn due to the mild climate and abundant rainfall. The people eat all kinds of meat, including beef, mutton, pork and chicken, etc. The vegetables of their daily life are of various kinds. Poached and pickled vegetables are the favored ones.

They are so hospitable that any guests are honored by the whole village. Wine is a must when treating the guests. Guests are shown a unique way of drinking each others wine in the spoon by crossing each other's arms. The elder person is shown respect by nobody eating before him or her.




Festivals


Stilt-Houses of A Zhuang Village

Besides sharing similar festivals with the Han, they have their unique ones including: the Devil Festival, the Ox Soul Festival, and the Singing Festival.

The Devil Festival, held on July 14th of the lunar month, is regarded as an occasion second to the Spring Festival. The day before the Devil Festival, every family does a thorough house cleaning and makes special preparations of outfits used in the sacrifice. On that day, duck, pork and good wines along with some candies and fruits must be offered in order to show great respect to their ancestors.

The Ox Soul Festival held on April 8th of the lunar month is to celebrate the birthday of the king of oxen and to show their love and respect to the ox, therefore, each ox is relieved from their yokes and free from plowing. People give the ox a bath accompanied with beating drums. Parents of a family feed the ox with five-colored glutinous rice, while singing folksongs. It is a festival that represents their great hope for a good harvest.

The Singing Festival is a traditional occasion which was held before 1940 to visit graves of the ancestors. Now it has become a grand sentimental occasion using songs for their expression. On that day, after offering sacrifices to Sanjie Liu (a Zhuang minority girl good at singing), they will sing to each other to challenge each other not only the song itself but also wit. Lyrics are usually improvisational and humorous that makes every one burst into laughter. It is also a perfect day for the young men to express their love to the girls by singing, so it is also reputed as the Valentine's Day of the Zhuang ethnic minority.



Other Culture:


Other cultures such as frescoes and bronze drums are also of splendid fame.

The Zhuang minority's frescoes carved on the steep cliffs are of extreme Zhuang characteristics. Figures, beasts and some other patterns carved 2,000 years ago will make everyone appreciate the image of their ancestors and the superb technique.

The bronze drum used both in sacrifice and festivals, delivers a special culture of the Zhuang ethnic minority. On the top and sides of the drums, the sun, frogs, dragon, dancing women and other patterns are decorated. It is a great revelation of their worship to the sun and frog. Nowadays, the bronze drum has become an indispensable musical instrument for the festivals.



 

Yao ethnic minority


The staple food is rice, corn and potatoes. Most of the meat in their diet comes from their own domestic livestock and from wild animals that the men hunt. Teas and homemade wines are their favorite drinks. As they are very hospitable and polite, they entertain guests with their palatable food and refined wines and insist that seniors be seated in the seat of honor.



Festivals: 

They hold many festivals, with at least one a month. Among the grand festivals, Panwang festival and Danu festival are the ones most worth mentioning. The former is held either every year, or every three to five years to express their reverence for their earliest known ancestor, Panwang. During this festival, everyone dresses themselves in their finest clothing and festively sings and dances to heart's content. Danu festival is held especially for the Yao people living in Guangxi Province to commemorate their grandmothers. TheZhuang people nearby also celebrate this festival by brewing fragrant wines and sing the melodious songs along with playing a timbal beating game.



Other culture and arts

Other culture and arts are also worth appreciating, such as the ballads and legends with rich content and multiple styles that depict the nation's history, glorify the hard revolutions, or express their sweet love, with their distinctive music and songs as tambourine dance and timbal dance.

All in all, the moralities of diligence, faithfulness, hospitality, and braveness have been handed down from generation to generation , and have become their representative characteristics.



Yi ethnic minority


Religion
Various beliefs are treasured, such as the belief of the spirit, the worship of their ancestors, and the adoration of nature, along with the cherishing of Catholicism, Christianity, and Buddhism. Amongst all these beliefs, the power of the spirit is regarded as the most magical one. Some heirlooms left to the Yi people by their ancestors are endowed with magic that can bring good will to their owners. Therefore, these highly valued possessions are carefully kept and passed down through generations.


 

Food and Food Culture
Their diets vary according to different regional conditions. However, because most of them live in mountainous areas, buckwheat, corn, potatoes are suitable for planting and are regarded as their staple food. Some of the ethnic groups do eat rice as their staple food. Pork, mutton, and beef are the main meats consumed. As for their beverages, tea and wines are regarded as the most superior ones to serve to their honoured guests.


When drinking, they prefer to sit around a circle and drink one by one, without eating dishes. And during the festivals, numerous kinds of wines can be seen and tasted while some others play flutes or sing.


Chahua festival is another characteristic festival which is held to commemorate the hero, Mi Yinu, who helped the Yi people overcome the tyrannical ruler. When the Maying flowers blossom, people will wear them on their hairs or present them to each other and sing to their heart's content to celebrate their happy life.



Festivals: 
Traditional festivals include the Torch and Chahua festivals. Among them, the Torch Festival is the grandest traditional festival, held on the 24th day of the lunar month of June. It is held to celebrate the victory of a rebellion against a tyrannical landlord. It lasts for three days, where families assemble together and hold rich and colourful activities. Wearing the traditional Yi clothes, they enjoy themselves with wrestling, horse racing, bull fighting, tug-of-wars and so on. When night comes, large bonfires are lit, with people sitting around, singing and dancing for the whole night.

Other festivals such as Saichuan festival (a festival during which people dress in beautiful clothes and enter into fashion competitions), and Shiyue Nian (the traditional spring festival for the Yi ethnic group held on October) are also well worth participating in.

 




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